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Artists support Roger Waters over German gig ban

Eric Clapton, Nick Mason and Peter Gabriel are among 10k+ people to sign a petition calling for the cancellation of Waters' shows be reversed

By James Hanley on 21 Mar 2023

Roger Waters

Artists including Eric Clapton, Brian Eno, Nick Mason, Peter Gabriel and Tom Morello are among more than 10,000 people to have signed a petition demanding for Roger Waters’ upcoming concerts in Germany to be allowed to go ahead.

Waters was scheduled to perform at Munich’s Olympiahalle and Festhalle Frankfurt on 21 and 28 May, respectively, as part of the German leg of his This Is Not a Drill tour.

However, the dates have become shrouded in controversy, with Munich City Council and the city of Frankfurt attempting to block the Pink Floyd co-founder from performing over allegations of antisemitism.

In response, Waters said last week that he is taking legal action over the “unconstitutional” move, which he says is “without justification, and based upon the false accusation that Roger Waters is antisemitic, which he is not”.

“Mr Waters believes that if this blatant attempt to silence him is left unchallenged it could have serious, far-reaching consequences for artists and activists all over the world,” concluded the statement issued by the 79-year-old’s management.

“We… are deeply disturbed by the recent efforts by German officials to discredit and silence musician Roger Waters”

Launched by American journalist Katie Halper, the new petition is backed by a raft of high-profile signatories also including intellectual Noam Chomsky, actor Susan Sarandon, film directors Ken Loach and Terry Gilliam, and musician Robert Wyatt.

“We artists, musicians, writers, and other public figures and organisations are deeply disturbed by the recent efforts by German officials to discredit and silence musician Roger Waters,” it reads.

“The Frankfurt City Council says that they cancelled Waters’ concert ‘set a clear signal against anti-Semitism’, describing the musician as ‘one of the most widely spread anti-Semites in the world’. As evidence, the council says that Waters ‘repeatedly called for a cultural boycott of Israel and drew comparisons to the apartheid regime in South Africa and put pressure on artists to cancel events in Israel’.

“There is no other evidence other than these two claims: that Waters has supported the Palestinian-led cultural boycott of Israel campaign and that he has compared contemporary Israel’s government to the apartheid regime in South Africa. Neither of these claims is unique to Waters or outside the boundaries of mainstream public opinion.”

It concludes: “Officials in Germany, concert organisers, and music platforms must not succumb to the pressure of those individuals and groups who would rather see Waters’ music removed than engage with the issues his music highlights. We call on those who have cancelled Waters’ concerts to reverse their decisions.”


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